We seem to live in strange times. Few people in this country these days (at least that I'm aware of, and I have quite a diverse range of contacts, from squaddies to directors) are narrow-minded enough to dislike someone because of the colour of their skin or religious belief.
But everyone seems terrified now of being singled out and labelled as a racist. In fact, people are going out of their way to show and prove how un-racist they are. The latest example being Keith Lemon apologising about Bo'selecta.
The recent events in America have been horrific and there does seem to be a lingering institutional racism in certain States and organisations. But do we really believe that here?
There was the shameful episode of Stephen Lawrence, but are we as a nation as racist as the media is painting us out to be?
I've always been of the opinion that something is obvious when it is meant as humour, and just as obvious when it meant to be malicious. If someone has an axe to grind or a chip on their shoulder, it's normally pretty visible and obvious.
But in the modern world, everyone seems to get offended by absolutely everything. Colour, race, religion, nationality, gender, age, weight, height, sexual persuasion, job, news, stereotypes. Without any regard to context or overreaction.
I sat recently with my kids watching the old Carry On Films. As an 8 and 10-year-old, they found these 50-year-old films hilarious. Most of the cast may have past away, but it was timeless humour. Even tame compared by modern standards.
I do wonder what the crew room banter of the modern military looks like. I wonder if I would still be "Fat lad", "Dwarf" or things that aren't repeatable on a public forum. I don't ever remember taking offence, neither did the Gingers, Troggs, Paddys, Lumpy Jumpers, Ruperts or myriad of Forces labels designed to take the mickey out of everyone. True equal opportunity in action.
We do seem to be in an era of negativity, extreme political correctness with an immediate social media witchhunt for any slip of the tongue or perceived wrongdoing.
Wrong and nastiness will always be wrong and nastiness, but let's allow some room for humour and commonsense.
Got to go, can see villagers with pitchforks and torches approaching...